I've blogged about the OmniFocus task management application before and today I want to talk about a small but very useful feature: creating tasks via e-mail. As much as I dislike e-mail it is hard to exist or do business today without it. No matter where you are, at the office, home, or on the road e-mail is sure to follow. If you always looking at it wouldn't it be nice if you could create OmniFocus tasks from any e-mail client? After all, using this method would certainly fall under the category of getting things out of your head and into your trusted system.
To create an OmniFocus task from e-mail begin a new message from any e-mail client you use. Address the e-mail to yourself using any e-mail address you check in Apple Mail. This will typically be the desktop or laptop computer you use with OmniFocus. Start the subject of the e-mail with "--action" followed by a space and the name of the task you want to create. If performing these steps in Apple Mail the new message you create would something like this:
Send your mail message. If you are working remotely or on a different computer from the one that has OmniFocus you're done and free to go about your day. The next time you are on the computer with OmniFocus simply check your mail in Apple Mail. When the e-mail arrives a task will automatically be created in OmniFocus.
How does this happen? When you install OmniFocus a rule is placed in Apple Mail that looks like this:
This rule looks at the subject line of your messages and creates tasks anytime "--action" appear in the subject line. The only prerequisite to this working is OmniFocus and Apple Mail must be used on the same computer. You can create tasks from any e-mail client or e-mail you wish, but you need to send the messages to an address you check in Apple Mail. I use this feature quite a bit from the office and even from the Gmail Web interface. Since I have OmniFocus for iPhone, I can also create tasks from anywhere - even without e-mail - as long as I have my iPhone with me.